So here is the last part of my story.
Once they knew what was happening to me, they were giving me tons of drugs to help my heart, remove fluid and whatever else. In the first 24 hours, I lost like 80 pounds of fluid. It was crazy. They were dumping my pee bag very often! One night, my friend Marcie (who lives in SLC) and her little Brother Allan stopped by to see me. I was SO uncomfortable because I felt like I had to pee SO bad! But I knew I was on a catheter and shouldn’t need to pee. But I was about to EXPLODE! I was so embarrassed because my nice visitors were there to see me and I could focus on nothing but how bad I needed to pee! I finally had to apologize to them and call a nurse. She checked my bag and the hose was kinked. Well I over flowed that bag, then she connected another and I filled it clear up too. What can I say? When you gotta go, you gotta go.
I know I keep mentioning my “papers” a lot, but there are some crazy things that really stand out. I just can’t leave them out of my story. One of the things I wrote really gets me every time I read it. I seriously get all choked up and teary eyed whenever I look at it. Let me give some background first. I have this WONDERFUL friend named Hope. She has just always been someone so special to me. When I was pregnant, I was emailing her lots and I got so close to her again. She was living in SLC at the time. I had a day planner with my address book in it and I had told Brett and my mom all of the people I wanted them to call when I had the baby. I didn’t have them call Hope when I had the baby, because she knew I was having him, and I knew I would be on the computer to tell her all about it in no time. Once I got in Salt Lake, I just couldn’t stop thinking about Hope and how badly I wanted her. So one of the first things I wrote to my Dad when he got there was this, “I want someone to call my friend Hope T. Her number is in my day planer.” Of course, it didn’t take her long to get there and she will never know how much it meant to me to have her there. She came to visit me a few times and brought me a cute book that I still love and cherish. I was SO happy when my mom came in and told me that Hope was there to see me. It was just so weird that I had so much family support, but I really wanted that “friend” support from Hope.
On Thursday night, when all of my family headed off to the Hotel for the evening, I was still on the forced air thing. I had not been able to eat yet, and I still had the catheter. I think I still looked pretty rough, and when everyone left, they still looked worried and upset. I must have had a good night, because I remember the Doctors and nurses coming in Friday morning at 7:00 to take me off the forced air breathing machine and putting me on a regular nose tube oxygen thing. They asked if I felt like trying some food, and I was like, “Sure!” So I was sitting up in bed, eating when my mom and Grandma came in. I will never forget the looks on their faces. They were so excited and they both started to cry. At that point, I knew I was going to be just fine. I was so excited at this time too, because since I was able to sit up, I was able to see my feet, and I could see they were back to their normal size! YEAH!!! I remember telling everyone to look at my feet because they were cute again. Later that afternoon, I was moved into a room on the cardiac floor.
It was weird, and I really don’t understand why this happened, but I wasn’t in that room for very long. It was a room for two patients, but the other bed was empty. It was a nice enough room. They took out my catheter and I remember being SO tired. I am pretty sure I had a nap. But before I knew it, they came in and told me they were moving me again to my own private room. I didn’t understand what the big deal was, but they were so excited to move me. Once I got into this room, they explained the whole thing. They told me that the hospital has “family sponsored” rooms. If a family or group decided to sponsor a room, they take care of all of the decorating and they can even request who they would like to use their room, when possible. So let me just tell you, this room was AMAZING! It was so big and decorated so classy! It had recently been redecorated. The family who had chosen to sponsor this room had quite a story. I might be off on the details, but it went something like this... They had a daughter who had a heart problem, ended up having kids, and died very suddenly. So when these wonderful people took over this room, they said that whenever possible, they would like this room to go to someone with small children. It was a pretty big room and had lots of places for people to sit. It had an amazing view of the Salt Lake valley. It actually overlooked the Primary Children’s helipad. That actually really bothered me. I hated to think of what was happening to change someone’s life every time the choppers landed. Anyway, I was so grateful for this wonderful family that chose to remain annonymous so I never got the chance to thank them. And I was also grateful for the gutsy nurses that moved the dying old man out of there so I could have the room! When they were telling me about the room, they said that on the cardiac floor, they don’t generally have young patients. They are usually older people. So they were so excited for me to have this room and finally have some bonding time with my brand new baby.
(that is my mom standing by my bed. and I have to say, she still has that shirt and still wears it all the time!! love ya, ma!)
(this is my dad.)
No sooner than I got all settled in this room, and I realized that my armpits were sweating like no other. Like dripping sweating. The hospital didn’t have deodorant, so Mike went and found me some. Well it still didn’t work. I was SOAKING WET! And it was everywhere. And man, oh man did my boobs ever hurt. I was so annoyed by this, but a little embarrassed to tell anyone that I was sweating so badly. Suddenly I realized what was happening. MY MILK CAME IN! Are you kidding me? I seriously thought, “Give me a freaking break!” So my good old mom headed off to find me sports bras and I had to fight through the miserable pain and moisture. Ew. Thank goodness it didn’t last more than a day or two, but my boobs were so sore and they were constantly putting their cold stethoscopes all over them to check my heart. If I were to nurse at this point, the medicine I was talking would go straight to the baby’s heart. Remember how I said it was a miracle that I couldn’t nurse? Brett told me that as they were getting me ready to life flight, they asked him if we needed to pump something for the baby to get him by, because if I had not made it.... well. Weaning him would have been tough. Anyway. Miracle.
Here are some of my visitors in my nice big room.
One thing that happened while I was in this room, that I will never ever forget. One morning, it was just Brett and I in the room. My nurse that morning was kinda rough and gruff and ornery. She brought in like 13 pills for me to take. I made a comment about how many pills there were. She so casually said, “Well, you think this is bad? Wait until you get your heart transplant.” When she left, I looked and Brett and started to sob. I was so upset that he hadn’t told me I would need a heart transplant. He assured me that I did not need a transplant. How could he not tell me this!?!?!? Were they just trying to protect me? Well, I thought about heart failure, and I just got so upset. I was sure he was lying. When my Doctor’s came in awhile later, I did the same thing to them. I kinda freaked out on them and told them that they better start being honest. They too, assured me that I did not need a transplant. If things don’t improve for me, it could get to that point, but for now I was fine. (And still am, if you are wondering.) Brett told the Doctors what had happened with the nurse and they had a talk with her. I think Brett told me that she got in a bit of trouble. Needless to say, I never saw her again.
It was a very open room, and I always had visitors. Brett, Quayd and Mike were my die hards! By Sunday afternoon, I was doing better and everyone headed back home. The excitement was over and it was time for everyone to get back to work. We were pretty sure I would be released in a few days, so there was no reason to have anyone else stay. Mike, my lifesaver, (literally) stayed right by my side all of the time. The nurses came in CONSTANTLY to check my C-section wound and give me heparin shots in the belly. If you have ever had to have these shots, you know they just shove it right in there. No warning, and no regard for the patients comfort! They just threw up my gown and did what they had to do. Also, if you have ever had a baby, you know about the “surf board” and mesh panties... Nuff said. Anyway, Mike saw more of his poor daughter-in-law than any man should ever see. Mike and I actually bonded SO MUCH over this whole experience. Mainly because he truly is the reason I am alive today. He was persistent and made sure I was receiving the best care at all times. He insisted I go to the Doctor that morning, and I be life flighted and he insisted I go to the University of Utah. He also insisted that he drive Brett and Quayd out there. He was just so in tune with my needs at a time when there was so much chaos, nobody else was really able to figure it all out. I know he coordinated parking, rooms and meals. Sometimes he was probably driving everybody crazy, but at the same time, nobody else was really capable of making those decisions. If you know Mike, you know the health trials he had to face during his life on this Earth. He knew what I was going though. He knew that I could hear them that day. He knew what kind of “experience” I had on that helicopter. We talked about it in deep detail on many occasions. I really felt like he was the one person that truly understood what happened to me at that time and he didn’t think I was a freak when I wanted to talk about death, and near-death experiences. I LOVE to read books about this stuff and we would always have to talk all about it and compare stories. I really miss that. Of all of the things I miss about Mike, that is my top one. Our creepy death talks!
Anyway, I thought I would get to come home Tuesday, but to everyone’s surprise, I was released on Monday. I called a few people to tell them I was coming home, but I also didn’t want to waste time on the phone, I just wanted to get on the road. I had no clothes, so Brett went down to the hospital gift shop and bought me a U of U T-Shirt and scrub bottoms. Aunt Debbie had insisted they drive her new SWEET Cadillac out to the city so they could bring me home in comfort and style. I was so grateful for that! It was such a comfortable ride! I get very carsick, so Brett offered me the front seat, but I declined. I wanted to sit by my baby. I seriously sat in the back seat, cried and stared at him the whole time. I couldn’t believe he was mine and how beautiful he was. It was awesome. Finally... the bonding I needed.
We came home that night and I just wanted to sit in my living room by my baby. I wasn’t able to hold him for awhile, I was too weak. So I just had his little carseat beside me and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was so good and never fussed. He was having some pukey things going on still, but he was so good! We finally had to put him on soy formula then he was fine. Tara and her family had been taking care of our house and pets while we were gone. We got home that night and hadn’t even called to tell anyone yet. We were just exausted. Well Tara comes pulling in to check on things. I realized that she had no idea I was home. So we just sat in the living room, so casually. She walked in and FREAKED OUT when she saw us sitting there. It was so cool! I will never forget it. I was so excited to see her! I also couldn’t be left alone for awhile, so I had to have babysitters. They came and sat with me all day while Brett was at work. Actually, they played with the baby while I rested. I am sure it was a tough job. My family all took different shifts. It was so awesome. I had such great support. I never could have made it thought with out them. My Grandma came a lot, Grandma Galley, Grandma Lane and Aunt Debbie, Mike, and a few people from my ward. My mom always came in the morning before work and helped me shower and bathe the baby. It was so important to me to be able to give Quayd a bath everyday and get him dressed in his little clothes. After a few weeks, I was able to do it all by my self. Then eventually I was able to drive again. So I felt like I had freedom. I still got tired very easily so I couldn’t do too much at a time, but I got stronger and stronger all the time. I still don’t feel like I am back to normal because I still get tired easily and once I am done, I am DONE! So I just had to find a new normal. And that normal ended up being a 23 year old mom with Congestive Heart Failure. Who also has to take medication for the rest of her life, but also has the most amazing son in the world. She doesn’t handle stress like she used to and gets very overwhelmed and stressed much easier that before, but she also realizes how lucky she really is and wouldn’t trader her life for ANYTHING!
Today, I am a 29 year old mom and I feel like I have taken this situation and tried my very hardest to make the best of it. I don’t feel picked on or unfortunate in anyway. Although, I struggle at times, I know I am blessed. I like to host pitty parties occasionally, but I try not to invite to many to join me. I struggle all the time with the fact that I cannot have anymore children. It breaks my heart. But I also know how lucky I am. I was so blessed to be able to experience pregnancy and childbirth. For that, I am forever grateful. I am also blessed, to have closure. That may sound strange to you, but I know SO many women who don’t know if they will even have that experience. I know that I was blessed to have it, and I will not have it again. I am truly so grateful for that. I don’t have to wonder. I was inspired to journal every single moment of my pregnancy. I have that journal still today and I will treasure it forever. I do not feel like my desire and dedication to that journal was a coincidence or accident. I also know that there are other ways for our family to grow, and we are not ruling that out in anyway. We have actually explored MANY avenues. But for now, we are content and happy. You really can’t ask for more than that. I am so grateful for this experience, and for finally taking the time to record it. This is my trial. And had I not chosen to accept it, I wouldn’t have Quayd. Then I wouldn’t have anything.
(Recorded April 2008, by me. Mandy Lane.)
Our House is For Sale!
3 days ago